Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sharks - Who needs them?

Well it seems the Chinese don't, except the fins to make shark fin soup.  This "delicacy" is a sign of wealth  and prestige. It is served at weddings, business luncheons and high-end restaurants.

How do they get the fins?   In many cases the shark is caught, the fins are cut off and the shark is then tossed back into the water to die. (warning graphic)   In other cases the bodies are brought back to shore where their fins are cut off to be sold.  This practice is done around the world  to supply Hong Kong and China,  two of  the biggest buyers.

 In Hong Kong recently, eighteen thousand shark fins were found on top of a roof drying, According to National Geographic 40 million sharks are killed each year, though some scientists estimate it to be over one hundred million.  Ninety percent of some shark populations have been exterminated.  This has caused an outcry from environmentalists around the world, putting pressure on governments to change their policies.  Even China will be banning shark finning by the year 2015.  They have already taken the soup off the menu at government public banquets but some say it's more because of public resentment of the government's extravagant spending than the plight of sharks. The U.S passed the Shark Conservation Act recently , unfortunately it has an exception.  But more has to be done by all the countries and every individual.

Hopefully by now you're asking what can you do to stop this. Write to the United Nations tell them you oppose shark finning and the sale of shark fins and any product made of shark fins.  Ask them to put pressure on those countries that allow this to happen. Sign petitions calling for the banning of such practices.

The following are a few places to check out for more ideas.

Humane Society - International -

Sea Shepard -  -

I know I put in many links but I felt it was necessary to get the point across. Hopefully you've found them informative, interesting and moving.  Thanks for coming by and possibly taking a stand.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

When the Muses Refuses

      "Put the pen down.  Now! I can't stand it any longer.  It pains me to watch."

      "But they say to allow yourself to write crap."

       "Not this much.  Drop the pen before your notebook slams shut and refuses to ever open again," said my muse Diana, whose spectral essence appeared, this time, as a translucent pissed-off pixie.

       I plopped my arm across the pages and gripped my pen more tightly.   "But Nora Roberts said something like, ‘if it's not on the page it can't be fixed’."

        "She was misquoted."

        "How do you know?"

        "Her muse, Terri, is my neighbor. We talk a lot.  I'm sure you've heard of her. She's quite the celeb among writers."

        I can't believe it.  My muse is name-dropping.  "What does that have to do with my writing?"

        "Nothing, just passing on some info.  As a matter of fact, Terri and I went out partying last night."

         "So that's where you were yesterday." I tossed my pen across the desk. "If you don't like what I'm producing, help me.  That's what you're supposed to be doing.”  

         "I can't."

         "Why not?"

         “My nails aren't dry."  She waved her hand in a half-hearted manner.


          "And I have a headache.  I'm still a little hungover." 

          "Are you making up excuses? You don't have a real head."  

          "A mere technicality.  Why don't you call one of those writing group member friends of yours?"

         "Because they're probably WRITING."  I wiggled my jaw to relieve some of the pressure that had been building up. "Get your airy ass over here and give me some ideas."

          Diana floated to the desk, sat primly on the edge, and stared at me. 


          "I'm thinking."


          "Um, this is a little embarrassing.  You sure you can't call someone?"

          "Double sure.  Come on, spill it, toots."

          "Well, um, I've been experiencing what we muses refer to as stimuli dysfuncti.  It would appear I'm in the same boat as you."
             I slumped in my chair and let out a long sigh. 

            Ah jeez, figures.  I wonder if I could sell her on ebay.


Jolyse Barnet graced me by nominating my blog for the Reality award.  Thank you so much.  Now here are seven facts about me.

1) I'm a Taurus.

2) Though I'm usually laid back, I can have a temper. This has surprised some people.  I don't  know why. : )

3) I like doing crafts.  I make cards, jewelry, stained glass, I sew and work with wood.

4) I don't like wine and am not much of a drinker, maybe 0-5 drinks a year.

5) I love find the word or hidden object games.

6) I'd like to try zip lining one day though I'm afraid of heights.

7) Though I really treasure quiet and solitude and seek it every day, I'd also like to be more sociable.  These two sides of me can really create a problem at times; people never know which one it's going to be.  lol

The  following are the five bloggers I'd like to nominate for this award.  Thank  you ladies for your words, ideas and creativity.

Debora Dennis   -  

Lynne Cannon  -

Debora  Dale -

Dawn  -

Catie Rhodes  -

Here are the rules for The Reality Award :
1. Show appreciation of the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
2. Add the award logo to your blog.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 5 – 10 or so bloggers you admire.
5. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

10 Useless but, hopefully, interesting facts

I was glancing through Mental Floss today when "who was the first archaeologist" raced across my mind.  Well I found out there's no easy answer for that, so I'll let you do the digging.   Here are ten facts you might never have thought of but could possibly produce a few hmmmms.  Hope you enjoy.   

1) The five most broken bones or group of bones in the human body are  clavicle or collarbone, ankle, hip, wrist, and arm.  Source: Discovery Fit and Health 

2) The first postage stamp issued in the U.S was on July 1, 1847 in New York City. Source: National Postal Museum 

3)  John Wilkes Booth used a single shot flint lock derringer to kill President Lincoln. Sources: Neatorama, Wikipedia

4) Catgut is tough cord made from the intestines of certain animals, particularly sheep, but not cats. Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica, Wikipedia

5) The first known published crossword puzzle was created by  journalist Arthur Wynne.  It appeared in the December 21, 1913 issue of the New York World. Sources: American Crosswords Puzzle Tournament,

6) Actor James Woods has an IQ of 180.  Sources: Worldof Female, Kids IQ Test Center

7) The pygmy shrew is the smallest mammal in North America.   Source: Animal Planet

8) Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was a political cartoonist between 1941-1943.  He was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM.  Two hundred of his cartoons for the PM are reproduced in Richard H. Minear's book Dr. Suess Goes to War.  Sources:

The Library uc San Diego,  The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

9) Virginia has been the birthplace of more presidents than any other state.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson were all born there.  Sources: Fact Checking, Wiki Answers

10) A lipogram is a text that deliberately excludes a particular letter of the alphabet. An example of this is Ernest Vincent Wright's Gadsby, which omits the letter e. 
Sources:  Wordsmith, About. com

Well this should start you on your way to gathering that wealth of information you'll need for Who Wants to be a Millionaire should you ever try out for it.

Do you know any strange or little known facts?  I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for coming by

Monday, January 7, 2013

Spiders and Clowns and . . .AHHhhhhhh!

Humans are strange creatures.We're all  afraid of certain things some of the time and a  lot of us have things  we're afraid of all the time.   I have a fear of heights.   Well I guess it's more a fear of falling because if I'm high up and feel secure, the height doesn't bother me. Yet I have gone indoor rock climbing, (not the most stable of pastimes) . . . once. So I'm not exactly incapacitated by that fear.

 I hate to talk in front of crowds (Could call it a fear. Yep, it's pretty close.) yet I've given speeches as President of LIRW at our annual luncheon. Okay I wasn't the steadiest or clearest or proficient speaker of all time, but again, I did it.

I do get claustrophobic occasionally, usually in a large group of people.  Though I did get a bad case when  the guy I was with, while sitting in a little MG at a drive-in theater,  tried to put the moves on me. Right, like anything was going to happen in that little space. Think again, pal.  I left him sitting there while I took a long walk around the concession building.

When it comes to these fears, I seem to be unimpressive since these phobias are some of the most common.
Look at those below.  Common tapioca bland fears.  See what I mean?

Glossophobia - the fear of speaking in public
Aerophobia- fear of heights
Claustrophobia- fear of enclosed spaces
Emetophobia - fear of vomit
Nycotophobia - fear of the dark
Astraphobia aka Brontophobia - fear of thunder and lightening
Trypanophobia - fear of injections or medical needles
Arachnophobia - fear of spiders
Coulrophobia - fear of clowns
Aviatophobia  aka Pteromerhanophobia  - fear of flying

And then there are the strange, weird ones. . .

Omphalophobia - fear of bellybuttons  But not the lint?
Anatidaephobia - fear that you're being watched by a duck  I never trusted that mallard!

Phronemophobia- the fear of thinking  Good luck staying away from this one.  If you're fearing it aren't you thinking about it?
Arachibutyrophobia- fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Hypnophobia - Fear of sleep  Oh these people must look good.
Dextrophobia- Fear of objects at the right side of the body. There's one for the left side too.
Euphobia- Fear of hearing good news  That's kind of sad.
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia- Fear of long words. And you didn't think psychiatrists had a sense of humor! 
Mythophobia- Fear of myths or stories or false statements.  Does this mean they can't tell a lie?
Proctophobia- Fear of rectums  Okay, how many rectums do you see going down the street?  A-holes yes, rectums no.
Politicophobia- Fear or abnormal dislike of politicians. Is this really a fear or a learning curve?

Here's a few writers hope to never develop.

Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.
Bibliophobia- Fear of books.
Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting

If you'd like to see more of these go to   I found it fascinating and at times really funny.

All right, I've told you mine, now it's your turn.  Fess up. : )

Sources:The Phobia List, Merriam-Webster,,,,,,